Measuring tape

D Hester

A two-year project to examine the value of culture beyond economic measures and look at the best ways to provide evidence of that value has been launched by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The Cultural Value Project  will cover a range of academic disciplines, hoping to address the gaps in current research and develop new methods of evaluating how arts and cultural activities bring value to individuals and to society. Director of the project, Professor Geoffrey Crossick, said the challenge of the project would be to find a way of evidencing culture’s impact on various areas, such as health and urban revitalisation, but stressed the research was timely and important: “Culture matters, and in challenging times we need to show just how important it is.” AHRC Chair Professor Sir Alan Wilson added: “Our experiences of culture have a profound effect on our lives, and yet assessing the significance and benefit proves to be a challenge for universities and the cultural sector. This project will not only broaden the evidence base but provide a framework for a wide range of sectors to determine the unique merit of culture, for individuals, society and the economy.”